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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Google Tipped as Tenant at IT Park

bloombergResident companies in IT parks could potentially cut expenses by as much as a third because of 20-year tax breaks.
ST. PETERSBURG -- Global Internet giant Google is eyeing Russia's northern capital's new IT park, where it may set up operations employing as many as 3,000 workers, according to a senior IT and Communications Ministry official.

"We spoke with Google representatives ... and they seemed very keen on the idea," said Deputy IT and Communications Minister Dmitry Milovantsev on Friday, speaking after a meeting with the Bonch-Bruyevich St. Petersburg State University of Telecommunications, which would be a partner in setting up the IT park.

Google declined to comment on the issue but confirmed its interest in Russia's IT market.

"We are very interested in Russia and are working to learn more about this important market. We will continue ... exploring business opportunities in Russia," a Google spokeswoman said in a written response.

Google is the world's most widely used Internet search engine. Its revenues reached $3.189 billion last year.

The draft bill on IT parks -- special economic zones created to boost investment in technology -- was approved by the State Duma last month. The bill needs the Federation Council's approval and President Vladimir Putin's signature to go into effect.

To draw large technology companies to IT park authorities will "make an offer [these companies] cannot refuse," Milovantsev said.

Resident companies in IT parks could potentially cut company expenses by as much as one-third because of the 20 years of tax breaks and other benefits they would receive, Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Andrei Sharonov said last month.

The technology park in St. Petersburg is set to begin operations as early as 2008 and will require an estimated $1 billion in investment, said Alexander Gogol, dean at the Bonch-Bruyevich St. Petersburg State University of Telecommunications.

The money will come from federal and regional authorities, the World Bank and the resident companies of the park, said St. Petersburg Deputy Governor Mikhail Oseyevsky.

The city of Moscow and its region, Novosibirsk and Tomsk are among other strong contenders for IT parks.